Beach City Fan
I am a resident of Beach City and a member of Informed Citizens United. Thank you for your very candid article ["Waste Not, Want Not," by Bob Burtman, March 12] regarding the issues we are faced with. The descriptions of the persons you wrote about are right on the mark. It is a great experience to read an article and know that the whole truth was published for public awareness.

Deanna Wallace
via Internet

What Are They Protecting?
Reading Bob Burtman's excellent piece on Beach City brings one to conclude that the political appointees on the TNRCC are not protecting the public's interest. This can be predicted, since we are not very forthcoming when candidates are trying to finance their campaigns. Nevertheless, it is disturbing how easily "the process" can be compromised when it comes to protecting the environment.

Good reporting, Houston Press!
Don Berthelsen
via Internet

Twice a Victim
I want to thank you for publishing the article about check theft from the West University post office ["Stolen and Forged," by Kate Thomas, March 12]. As a victim not once, but twice, in less than a year, I am very anxious that an awareness leading to action be established. Had your reporter not done such a good job, I would not have been aware that WUPD was working on this problem, since my residence is in Southampton.

The article stated that you were unsuccessful in reaching any victims who were willing to talk about the experience. Please be assured, I, for one, am very willing to talk -- or to do anything else that will bring this ring of thieves to justice. The time and stress and money involved for me to recover my good name and credit rating, when all I ever did was pay my bills on time and be financially responsible, is mind-boggling. Your readers in 77005 are well advised to take heed, and keep their eyes on the mailman!

James G. Donder

Heart-Stopping News
My heart almost stopped when I read "Second Coming on Shepherd" in your March 12 issue [Dish, by Eric Lawlor]. How could anyone write an article on Tila's restaurant and not mention executive chef Clive Duval? Tila Leach Hidalgo may have lent her name and some cash to the establishment, but it was Duval who breathed life into it. Every item on the menu was designed by Clive. He was there daily to oversee everything that went on in the kitchen. Any of the true fans of the old Tila's will tell you that cooking was this man's life. I had the pleasure of working there for the final two years of the restaurant's existence. The majority of our customers were repeat business, and the lines were still out the door on the final night of operation. Duval was always talking to the customers, getting their feedback and sometimes just sitting with them while they enjoyed his wonderful food. Tila Hidalgo, with or without the "Leach": Reopening Tila's minus Duval is no "second coming."

Ruben A. Dominguez

Smack Smack
If you're sitting at home, trying to listen to a great piece of music, and there's a fly buzzing, and you can't kill it, the musical experience could be ruined. That's what it's like trying to read Michael Sragow's review of The Big Lebowski ["Coens Go to Pot," March 5].

In the first paragraph, he writes about "the Dude" and says, "when he's not hitting the hardwoods," and I'm wondering what this movie has to do with basketball. The answer: nothing. Sragow is referring to bowling, and should have used the expression "tenpins." Apparently, sports are not his thing. Were he to write about football and not use the expression "gridiron" for the playing field (or "diamond," for a baseball field, or "links," for a golf course) I probably would have been equally thrown out of whack.

Now that I've smacked that sucker, I plan to see this movie, your reviewer's criticism notwithstanding.

Ted Weisgal

Former Cadet Agrees
I have read all the letters and publications about the slashing at the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen ["The Few, the Proud, the Battered," by Ann Zimmerman, January 8]. I know most of it is true, having been a cadet at the school. I still don't understand why the alumni have kept their faith in the school. I know what went on there; so do my former brother cadets.

I have almost no faith in the existing general. Once he retires at the end of this school year, I will observe how the school reforms and betters itself; maybe then I will put my trust back into the DIs. I have to let you know that you have done all you can to reveal to the public what you know, and what they need to know. I hope that when the time comes, all of my brothers and I will reveal the rest of the information that has been withheld to everyone, including police, press and parents.

Jeremy Koska
via Internet

Got You Covered
Thank you for your coverage of All Over ["Far from All Over," by Lee Williams, March 12], now stunning this playgoer and others at Stages. It's so amazing to me that the Chronicle habitually ignores America's greatest living playwright and resident Houstonian in order to cover Rent or some third-rate traveling road show. Sad. I encourage everyone to go and let Mr. Albee, as well as Mr. Berger, show you what theater is all about.

Jane Cherry
via Internet

Infernal Bridegroom Responds
I feel compelled to reply to Lee Williams's March 12 review of The Threepenny Opera. I suppose my greatest complaint would have to be with the headline ("Bad to Brecht, Vile to Weill"). Infernal Bridegroom Productions has earned a reputation for exciting, accessible productions of challenging works by serious playwrights, which, however, never violate the intent of the writer or the spirit of the piece. IBP's Threepenny Opera is no exception. Broadway, regional and community theater productions notwithstanding, Threepenny Opera is, and always will be, a "beggars' opera." Ms. Williams's judgment may be clouded by some prettified cast recording or other. The fact remains: Brecht did not intend his lyrics to be sung by opera singers.

Although this is not the case in our production (quite the contrary), one of the most exciting American renditions of the piece was Richard Foreman's, starring Raul Julia, in which the actors were instructed to sing as badly as possible. This direction was an embrace of (not a deviation from) Brecht's wishes.

As to the musical direction, which you described as "dirge slow," all tempos in our production were taken from Weill's autographed revisions to the original score.

All this reverence to the German masters who created the piece would be for naught, however, if the audience had not enjoyed the performance. What you failed to mention in your review, though, is that on the night you attended, the cast enjoyed a tremendously enthusiastic response, culminating in three curtain calls. Brecht intended his work to be enjoyed by the working class, not by academics who may have fallen behind in their research.

On a lighter note, the "unnamed whores and gang members" were quite surprised to read that they had reprised their roles from our Camino Real. Of the ten actors you referred to, you see, only one appeared in the Williams play.

All this aside, we at Infernal Bridegroom enjoy and appreciate the Houston Press's arts coverage and Lee Williams's sincere, thoughtful reviews.

Jason Nodler, Executive Director
Infernal Bridegroom Productions

No Tolerance
If the Hunger ["Starved for Respect," by Hobart Rowland, March 12] are indeed so concerned over their lack of respect in local music circles, then a good, stern look in the mirror may be in order. You get what you give, boys. The couple of members of the camp that I have encountered at local venues (when national acts pass through) have been crass, rude and egotistical on several occasions. Can you say public relations? You want respect? You want people to take notice? Try dropping the attitude a couple of notches. I'll let you in on a little secret. Remember the old saying: "The bigger they are, the harder they fall"? The higher up on that ladder of success you get, the more sure of your foundation you should be, and with the reputation you have in your hometown, I would be very unsure indeed.

Alana Waters
via Internet

The Houston Press reported incorrectly [Insider, March 5] that Life Advocates "produced ads and other campaign material attacking (Dolly Madison) McKenna as being soft on abortion and other conservative life-style issues.

Also, according to Ed Duncan, president of Life Advocates, "Never has Life Advocates received any money from Dr. Steve Hotze, Mr. Mark Smith, the Da Vinci Group, Mr. Dan McClung or Mr. Ken Bentsen, nor any other political group or individual for any type of ad campaign, or any other political activities.


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